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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Make sure you read the previous books before reading this one. They are all available on the GayAuthors website.

The Mantis Synchronicity - Book Five - 26. Chapter 26 - Croosen

Croosen slips slowly into madness...

With the sun pounding down and the narrow streets congested with people heading to and from the city’s many day-markets, Croosen stumbled through the crowd. She was only partially aware of those around her.

Her neck surgery throbbed, but it was nothing compared to the suffering in her mind. The murdered Biological Shift’s memories remained no more than incoherent flashes of things that made no sense to Croosen, and they were pervasive. Thoughts of the other inhabitants who had lived in the underground, Biological Shifts who appeared like monsters from some horrible abyss to Croosen’s mind, pushed her sanity to the brink.

She began mumbling nonsense to the apparitions plaguing her very soul. She swatted at things not there, and other pedestrians stepped back to avoid coming into contact with a madwoman. Croosen felt mad herself, but she was powerless to stop the images that tormented her mind. There were emotions and longings, moments of shame, anger, hatred, but none of them meant anything to Croosen, and she could not stop herself from feeling them.

Croosen shoved her way out of the crowd and found herself in a part of Teshon City where she had never been before. A cordoned-off hole in the ground gaped before her. It was an entrance to what had once been the underground, the place where the murdered Biological Shift had spent most of his life, and the remnants of his thoughts brought her to it.

“The underground,” Croosen whispered.

An urge from within caused her to climb over the barricade and enter the dangerous ruins. It had been almost two years since the collapse of the underground, and posted signs made it clear that no one should go below, but Croosen began to make her way into the darkness. She came upon an old illumination orb and picked up the dusty thing. It was nonfunctional, but she realized there were many of them, and before long, she located one that blinked to life.

Croosen was unable to stop herself as the foreign memories guided her through the rubble. Loose stones shifted beneath her feet as she stumbled her way into the depths, wincing and clutching at her neck wound every time she tensed up.

There were no people, but there were bodies. Several corpses lay in strange positions, mummified by the dry air from beneath. Croosen passed them and climbed farther down in the darkness. Broken chunks of bedrock blocked entrances that led to chambers that were now inaccessible, and she could only continue along ways that had not been destroyed in the collapse. Croosen came upon a chamber that was filled with what looked like frozen liquid stone, and she found a stairwell that had fallen in on itself. She located the remains of what appeared to be a laboratory where several more dried corpses lay crushed by fallen stones.

However, when the beam of light from the orb in her hand lit up a nondescript hallway, Croosen burst into uncontrolled sobbing. She fell to her knees and cried, unaware of what caused her overpowering sadness, and she could not stop the flood of emotion that swept through her. It was several minutes before she was able to calm down enough to rise and continue deeper.

Croosen entered the hallway and followed it to an open space with many numbered doors. She approached one with only the number 8 on it, but there was something wrong in her mind with that number. The illumination orb lit up a second number down on the floor by her feet, and she saw a 1.

The murdered Biological Shift had known those numbers, and therefore, they now meant something to Croosen. “Eighteen?” she said under her breath, as if speaking too loud might wake the ghosts of the dead. “No, eighty-one, room eighty-one.” She opened the door and stepped inside.

It was not a fancy space, and part of the room had caved in, but it was clear to Croosen that it had been a home. There was a couch that was half-buried beneath fallen rubble, a disheveled bed, even a bookcase with a few dusty volumes in one corner. The light in Croosen’s hand shined upon a piece of glass in a frame, and she approached it. In it was a picture of three Biological Shifts, and even though Croosen had only seen the murdered man’s head once it had been decapitated, in the photograph, she could see the scales on the sides of his neck.

Emotions unlike any she had ever felt exploded in her heart, and she staggered back. She was seeing the Biological Shift whose photonova gland she had implanted in her neck, seeing him back when he was alive and thriving in a community that accepted him. The residual thoughts and feelings of the dead man that now swirled in Croosen were like fire burning her soul. Her knees became weak, and she leaned against a wall; it shifted.

All in an instant, the ceiling above gave way and collapsed, burying Croosen beneath incalculable tons of broken bedrock, and in the darkness, she died

Thus ends Croosen...
2024
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Please feel free to leave me comments or message me with your feedback or thoughts. The responses from readers on this site have been invaluable!
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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  • Site Moderator

A fitting end for Croosen, tormented to the end by the memories of the Shift whose gland she tried to use for more powers.

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Karma is a bitch....now on to Abernathy's fate, the more horrendous the better...

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Honestly, don't think that she suffered enough..  I was almost hoping that she would shift in some manner and Abernathy would go after her.  

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11 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Honestly, don't think that she suffered enough..  I was almost hoping that she would shift in some manner and Abernathy would go after her.  

I really appreciate hearing your feedback, especially when its about something that happens in the story which is different than what you hoped or wanted to happen... my editor had completely different thoughts from yours on this chapter haha and my partner thought something completely different as well! I toyed with the idea that Croosen would become a Shift-ally, but I wrote her to be so vile earlier in the book that it didn't feel like she deserved redemption. I also considered making her death linger and making her suffer, but that idea seemed like a little overkill (I know, I know, a lot of my stuff is overkill haha) I just didn't want to force readers to have to suffer along with her. I do like your idea that Abernathy could have ended up taking her out, which would have been fun, but in the end, death-by-squish felt like a satisfying way for me to remove her permanently

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